Written by the home doctor Brisbane team

With thousands of Brisbane locals expected to descend on the Ekka for People’s Day, after-hours doctors have issued a plea to those with the flu to stay at home.The call comes after House Call Doctor witnessed a spike in flu numbers – last week saw a 30 per cent increase in patients with flu-like symptoms in Toowoomba alone.

House Call Doctor Chief Operating Officer Keith Jennings said one in three Toowoomba patients was currently suffering flu-like symptoms and the service didn’t want to see those same levels reaching Brisbane.

“We know People’s Day is an incredibly fun day out but we’re urging people who don’t feel 100 per cent to stay at home, to stop the spread of flu,” Mr Jennings said.

“People’s Day is often coupled with cold winds and we have seen lows of just four degrees over the last couple of days, so we urge those planning to attend to pack appropriate items for their day trip.

“Bring warm clothing for the fireworks, take your own water bottle, pack hand sanitiser and remember to regularly wash your hands, particularly after going on rides or touching animals.”

House Call Doctor’s Dr Ryan Harvey said flu levels in Brisbane were steadily rising as we enter the worst of the flu season.

“The influenza virus is an airborne illness passed on when people typically cough and release small droplets into the air containing the virus which land on people or surfaces,” Dr Harvey said.

“Crowded places like the Ekka are ideal locations to pass on the flu as many people are in close proximity. The flu can affect people differently and may take some up to two weeks to fully recover.”

Brisbane has been affected by flu already this season – less than a fortnight ago, a primary school in Middle Park was forced to close after 182 children and 15 staff were absent with flu.

Mr Jennings reminded those who did fall ill on Wednesday that after-hours services would be in operation.

“As it’s a public holiday in Brisbane, most GPs will be closed and that’s where services like House Call Doctor, which is Queensland’s largest after-hours healthcare provider, can step in to provide medical assistance to those who need it.”